Tiger Woods-like Mental Focus
Many athletes cannot do this easy-to-understand but hard-to-apply concept. Some of my students become mentally trapped by their own thoughts. They focus on what just happened during the last play or s...
Many athletes cannot do this easy-to-understand but hard-to-apply concept. Some of my students become mentally trapped by their own thoughts. They focus on what just happened during the last play or shot or on what may happen in the future.
The classic mental trap is when you begin to think ahead to the end of the game or performance. Will my team get it done today? What score will I shoot today? Will coach be happy with my performance today?
Thinking ahead about the *what ifs* does not help you perform well in the present. But many athletes have a hard time staying grounded in the present. We live in a result-oriented society. Everyone remembers winners - not losers or who finished second.
Regardless, you must train your mind to focus on the process – or what I call execution - if you want to enter and stay in the zone.
The number 1 golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, is a master at the present-focus mindset.
"You just have to stay in the moment. Golf is one shot at a time. You cannot live in the past. You have to play the shot at hand. That's what I've always done. " ~Tiger Woods
How do you stay in the present when you constantly are bombarded with distractions in sports - your own mental traps and outside distractions?
You simply have to catch yourself when your focus wanders and act quickly. This means you must be aware when your mind wanders away from what is really important.
*Refocusing* is a simple three-step process that all of my mental coaching students learn. This mental strategy helps them pull their focus back to the present moment.
The lesson today - you can't be perfect with your mental focus. No one is perfect. Not even Tiger Woods. But he is the master at refocusing or regaining his concentration after is slips.
The mental strategy of refocusing should not take you longer than 2-4 seconds to complete in competition. The sooner you can refocus – the better your concentration and thus, performance!
Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit http://www.peaksports.com for more information.